Around 26 million Americans suffer from dry eye, a chronic condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough high-quality tears. At, idoc Optical in Washington, D.C., we diagnose dry eye and provides customized treatments and procedures to improve the quality and quantity of your tears. If you’re in the D.C. area and your eyes are always dry, itchy, burning and red, call idoc Optical or make an appointment online today.
What is dry eye?
While many people occasionally experience dry, itchy eyes, dry eye is a chronic condition that occurs when you don’t produce enough high-quality tears. You may not make enough tears, or the tears that you do produce may not be sufficiently moisturizing.
Signs of dry eye include:
- A painful burning or stinging feeling
- Itchy eyes
- A sandy or gritty feeling
- Watery eyes
- Discomfort with contact lenses
- Strings of mucus around your eye
- Blurred vision at distance near or both
- Fluctuations in vision
- Glare and light sensitivity
- Chronic redness
Your tears have three layers, and if you don’t have enough of any of the tear components, your tears won’t keep your eyes wet and clean.
The outermost layer is an oil layer which prevents your tears from evaporating too quickly. The middle, watery layer contains most of the liquid in your tears, which helps clean and moisturize your eyes. The mucus layer is in the center of your tears and helps your tears spread over your eye and stick to its surface.
What causes dry eye?
Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial condition. The most common factors that contribute to dry eye are age, systemic & ophthalmic medications, environmental changes, computer work, contact lens wear, systemic diseases. Reduced blinking rate when at the computer screen, lack of sleep, fluorescent or LED lights in the workplace and several different factors influence dry eyes greatly. Your production of tears may decrease as you age. Hormonal fluctuations caused by menopause, pregnancy, or oral contraceptives can also affect the quantity and quality of your tears.
You may also develop dry eye as a symptom of systemic health issues such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions. Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and blood pressure medication, can also contribute to dry eye.
Extended contact lens use or living in a dry or windy environment also contributes to dry eye symptoms.
What is the process for diagnosing dry eye?
Dr. Khoshbin Golriz and Dr. Rezvani can diagnose dry eye with a comprehensive exam. We will ask you about your symptoms and examine your eyes and eyelids for signs of dry eye and irritation. We will also use a slit lamp test to study your cornea and tear film as well as other parts of your eye in more detail. We may also run tests to measure your tear production and to assess the quality of your tears. Your doctor will take a comprehensive history on symptoms such as chronic red eyes, sandy or grittiness in the eyes, blurred vision, excessive tearing, itching or burning. Sometimes symptoms of allergy eyes and dry eyes are difficult to separate and often times they coexist. It is through a very detailed eye examination it can be diagnosed and treated appropriately. Please
What is the treatment for dry eye?
If you have dry eyes, please schedule an appointment for a dry eye workup. Depending on your symptoms and your results after your exam. We will suggest a course of treatment, whether with medicated eye drops or a holistic approach that best suits your needs.
Call idoc Optical or schedule an appointment online today for customized treatments for dry eye.